Pioneer S-DJ05 Reference Monitors
Pioneer isn’t just a well-known name in home audio systems (my first turntable growing up was a Pioneer), but the company also produces excellent hardware for DJs, producers and other music-makers.
The S-DJ05s I tested are the latest speakers from the Japanese giant’s line of studio equipment. The monitors are bi-amped, with five-inch drivers, soft-dome tweeters and bass ports, all wrapped in a pair of attractive, industrial-looking curved enclosures. There’s a wide range of inputs around back, making them a good choice for those with small home studios. You get a pair of XLR ins, 1/4-inch (balanced) inputs, and two sets of RCA inputs.
The included remote is a very cool touch. It’s a hockey puck-sorta-knob thing that controls the volume, but there are also buttons on the back (where your fingertips rest) that let you switch inputs. LEDs on the speakers’ boxes indicate which input is currently active.
Technically, the S-DJ05s are reference monitors, and they do represent the mids and highs very clearly and accurately. But the bass is forward, almost too loud. At first, the low end on these speakers felt too flabby. I worked them in for about a month, and I mitigated some of the rumpshaking by putting vibration-dampening pads underneath them. The low frequencies did tighten up with isolation, and the speakers have inline equalizer knobs on the back to add or subtract from the highs and lows. I found they benefited from a slight bit of attenuation in the lows pretty much all the time. But to each his own — you can toggle the EQ on and off from the remote, so you can cut the bass with only a single tap of the finger.
Left unbridled, that below-the-belt kick is really something, making the S-DJ05s especially well-suited to beat-heavy electronic music. If you want to impress your guests, blast some Gui Boratto or Amon Tobin through these. Other genres, like jazz and good old rock and roll, didn’t sound as vibrant and present as they did on some of the other speakers we tested.
For $700, there’s a long feature list and 40W per channel of bi-amped power, but frankly, I think you could find better sound from something more competitively priced. I would, however, recommend these for bassheads, DJs and dance-floor commandos who will get more mileage out of the big bottom. —Michael Calore
get-gadget Sound is accurate and well-balanced in the mids and highs. Remote control is excellent. Plenty of boom, especially with electronic music. Attractive machinery. 5-inch and 8-inch models available.
TIRED Lows can be mushy. Steep price tag. Remote cable isn’t very long — shows these are really meant for a workstation, not for room listening.
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